We were invited last autumn to participate in a Japanese led project, facilitated by Chuo University Faculty of Law in Tokyo, to share advice on lessons learned from London 2012 in preparation for Tokyo 2020. The focus of the project is to deliver the most successful possible legacy in Tokyo – in sports participation, volunteering, the economy and the physical infrastructure currently being built to host the Olympic and Paralympic Games.
The project is financed by the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science and aims to:
- Assess the impact of London 2012 and its relevance to Tokyo;
- Quantify the wider public policy legacy in communities, clubs, volunteers and coaches;
- Make recommendations to the Tokyo Organising Committee;
- Assess the potential for a wider legacy in economic development and in promoting public health and mental wellbeing.
We are very pleased to be involved with this project as part of our role in engaging internationally, but also in seeking to learn lessons from overseas and to apply them in the UK. The pressure of Brexit has also increased the need to engage more widely than Europe. Advising senior decision makers in advance of Tokyo gives us the opportunity to share further the benefits from London 2012 (as well as Glasgow 2014) and to promote the achievements of the UK sport sector more broadly.
Our first role was to host several engagements for the Tokyo team here in London and across the UK with NGBs, charities, county sports partnerships (CSPs) and funding agencies in late 2016. I was fortunate enough to be invited over to Tokyo to then meet with the Japanese Sports Agency, the Tokyo planning teams and with a range of academics, sports agencies and commercial partners to provide further advice and guidance in the build up to Tokyo.
Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll summarise some of the highlights from my time in Tokyo, which included delving into the issue of women’s leadership in sport and making sure the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games leave a legacy for Tokyo and the rest of Japan.